We describe a robust manufacturing process for single-mode photonic crystal (PhC) vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). Various PhC designs are investigated to determine endlessly single-mode designs, whereby the same PhC design yields single-mode operation for three different wavelengths (780, 850, and 980 nm). The fabrication of the PhC pattern is based on a self-aligned optical lithography process. The fabrication process results in VCSELs with a maximum output power greater than 1 mW under continuous-wave (CW) operation with side-mode suppression ratio greater than 35 dB. We also show microfluidic laser structures that are enabled by our fabrication process, which integrate fluid channels into VCSELs. Optical and electrical properties of these microfluidic VCSELs are investigated with and without fluids present under CW and pulsed operation. A shift of the lasing wavelength is found with fluid insertion.